When a blood clot, or thrombus, forms in a blood vessel blocking the flow of blood, vascular specialists may perform a thrombectomy to remove the clot. This minimally invasive endovascular procedure has evolved dramatically over the years, with advancements in devices used as well as catheterization methods. As a result, thrombectomy can treat veins of many different sizes (deep vein thrombosis) and has become a suitable treatment to prevent tissue and organ damage.
A blood clot (thrombus) can result in several problems, including:
- Pain, swelling, numbness, or tingling in the arm or leg
- Muscle pain or tenderness in the arm or leg
- Postthrombotic syndrome, PTS (enlarged veins)
- Tissue death
- Loss of function of an organ
- Pulmonary embolism (can be fatal)
While a thrombectomy is not always the first line of treatment for blood clots, it represents an effective treatment for large blood clots and those with severe implications. Even so, thrombectomy may be used in conjunction with the following treatments: thrombolysis, anticoagulant medication (to prevent clotting), angioplasty and stenting or placement of a vena cava filter.
Minimally Invasive Endovascular Thrombectomy
While the specific treatment plan in regards to a thrombectomy may vary from patient to patient, the standard thrombectomy procedure will involve making a small incision in the area above the blood clot. The blood vessel is then opened, and the blood clot is removed. Often, an image-guided catheter with a balloon attached to the end is threaded to the site of the blood clot. The balloon is inflated, opening the vessel. A stent may be placed permanently within the vessel to keep it open and maintain healthy blood flow.
As a new generation of endovascular techniques and devices have been introduced and tested over the last couple of years, Vascular Surgeon Dr. Alan I. Benvenisty has been instrumental in the treatment of numerous vascular conditions with conservative, non-invasive techniques. Without question, safe removal of a blood clot, even in the tiniest vessels, serves as a game changer for patients.
Dr. Benvenisty’s reputation for providing individualized treatment is one reason why many seek his expertise with their vascular conditions. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Benvenisty, contact our office on Amsterdam Avenue today.